Jamie Oliver to present healthy eating show in U.S.

Chef teams up with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest

Jamie Oliver is taking his mission to encourage healthy eating to the fattest nation on earth.

The Naked Chef star is to present a six-part series in the U.S. where 127 million people – a third of the population – are overweight. Oliver will visit the most unhealthy U.S. cities to improve the residents’ eating habits.

The father-of-three’s co-host will be Ryan Seacrest, who presents talent show American Idol.

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the U.S. where about a third of the population is overweight, compared to 25% in the UK.

The as-yet-untitled programme will air in 2010 and is based on a combination of his two Channel 4 series, Jamie’s School Dinners and Jamie’s Ministry of Food. In 2005, his series about school meals revealed the shocking amount of salt, fat and sugar being served to children in Greenwich prompted the Government to inject £500 million of funding to improve school food.

Last year, he tried to encourage people in Rotherham to give up their diets of fast food and ready meals in favour of more nutritious and healthier options. The 33-year-old also held cookery lessons to persuade locals to make home cooked meals rather than relying on takeaways.

The American series will be filmed later this year and air on the ABC network and Channel 4 in early 2010. Oliver said: ‘I’ve been working on ideas for the American series for five years now, inspired by what has been achieved by the wonderful people in Greenwich and Rotherham.

‘This is without question the most important and challenging thing I’ll ever do in my life but I truly believe that I can at least plant the seeds of change in America in terms of helping a community to cook better, feed their kids better and save money.’

The star recently cooked for world leaders attending the G20 summit, including American president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, at a special meal hosted by Gordon Brown.

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